Timing belts cost quite a bit of money and that leads to many car owners putting off the replacement for as long as possible. It's best to get the item replaced quickly to avoid other problems with your car. How do you know your timing belt needs to be replaced? Here are four signs that you need to look out for with your car.
Cracks in the Belt
Think of this like a normal belt that you wear. When your belt starts to crack, it weakens and is more likely to break. The same thing applies to the timing belt. If there are cracks in the material, it is weakening and likely going to break. It's best to get it replaced when the cracks begin to appear, as this is excessive wear and tear.
Glazed Look on the Belt
If you notice your timing belt looks glossy or glazed, it is a sign that it is at the end of its life. A belt like this has lost its flexibility and is too stiff to work effectively. You can also check to see how worn and stiff the belt is. Try to put an indent into the material. If it fails to make that indent, it needs to be replaced quickly.
You may be able to sense this problem within the car. The teeth in the belt may be missing, causing an odd vibration within the engine. That vibration may even turn into a physical shake within the car.
The Car Won't Start
The car not starting is a sign of other problems, but it is also an issue with a faulty timing belt. When mixed with the other two problems stated above, you can strongly assume that your timing belt needs to be replaced. When it starts to fail, your ignition timing will be off, which means the starter motor isn't in time with the rest of your car.
Black Smoke from the Exhaust
You will know that black smoke from the exhaust isn't a good thing. It is a sign that the timing belt is breaking or slipping. The valves won't be closing and opening when they should, letting more fumes through the exhaust.
Your timing belt is a crucial element within the car, but, like all parts, it is subject to wear and tear. Over time, the belt will crack and start to slip. Looking out for the signs will give you time to get it fixed at a local auto center before other problems appear within the car.